If you are looking to grow your business into a large enterprise, it’s pretty much a given that you will need a contact center in order to support the needs of your customers. While contact centers are nothing new and many businesses already make use of on-premise contact centers, a new emerging trend is the use of cloud-based contact centers to provide a much more flexible, scalable infrastructure that can grow as your business grows.
So which one is right for your business?
On-Premise vs. Cloud-Based Contact Centers
On-premise contact centers, or the traditional contact centers where a site is built with a complete office furnished with cubicles, computers and the other infrastructure needed to field calls, make a lot of sense for many businesses. Many businesses have been using this model for a long time, and are used to the approach along with all the controls and the staffing required to keep it running.
These businesses tend to be very large. They require a lot of investment to get the site up and running. They also need to manage the operations along with the technical maintenance of the voice lines, the computers, and the contact center software that runs it all.
Cloud-based Contact Center Trends
If that sounds a little daunting, you may want to take a look at the alternative. Cloud-based contact center solutions may be the ideal solution in case you are unsure of putting down a huge investment for your business, or are looking to start with a smaller operation before expanding into a larger one.
Instead of building an office, you take a subscription with a cloud-based solution provider, and you use their services to gain the benefits of a contact center, operating from any computer with an internet connection.
Many new businesses today are taking advantage of this new trend. According to a Forrester report, the global cloud market will grow to $146 billion by the end of 2017, and will reach $236 billion by 2020. Businesses are increasingly looking towards cloud-based solutions because they offer greater scalability, improved efficiency and lower costs.
A cloud-based contact center will run off of any computer unit without the need for installation or maintenance of the software, and may not even require a traditional office to run.
If you require fast deployment, minimal IT maintenance, an easy transportable infrastructure, and remote-working capabilities, it may make more sense to go with a cloud call center solution.
Why should you choose a Cloud-Based Solution over an On-Premise Solution?
Maruti Techlabs has identified five key areas to outline the contrast between the two potential contact center solutions. Depending on your business needs, looking at these five aspects may make your choice easier.
1. Installation – Setting up an on-premise contact center can be time-consuming. Finding a site, setting up the hardware, getting licenses and installing the software can take a lot of time, effort and investment. Cloud-based solutions, on the other hand, are relatively easy and require little hardware maintenance.
2. Operational and Ownership Costs – On-premise solutions have a relatively high cost of operation. You’ll need to purchase all the hardware, from computers, headsets, phone systems, and the like) and license the software, along with the office space to accommodate all of that. Cloud-based solutions have no additional hardware needs and simply requires a fast, dependable internet connection.
3. Easy Call Center Management – The on-premise solution has full hardware and software systems that require a full team of IT personnel to maintain. A cloud-based solution requires minimal management and maintenance.
4. Flexibility in Business Operations – For on-premise solutions, agents cannot work remotely, and it is harder to scale the operation as the number of agents increase and decrease. As your needs grow, it becomes more difficult to get the proper staffing for 24/7 operations. For cloud-based systems, you can add or remove agent seats by changing your subscription.
5. Scalability as your Business Grows – The on-premise contact center requires you to invest in additional hardware and software licenses, all of which has a significant time of execution as you need to put in a larger investment. The cloud-based solution doesn’t require any additional hardware or software investment, as the contact center operates entirely on data servers run by the cloud-based solution provider.
As you can see, for many businesses today a cloud-based contact center makes a lot of sense. The smaller operational costs along with the greater scalability and flexibility make it very attractive, especially to those who haven’t been running an on-premise contact center for decades. The added flexibility for the workforce in having remote agents working from any computer around the world also make it easier to hire the best agents for the job, instead of working with a limited geographical pool in your office’s vicinity.
If you’re still undecided, you can always start with a demo of the existing cloud-based contact center solutions. Many providers are happy to set you up with a demonstration of how their service works, so you can decide firsthand whether a cloud-based is right for you.
Contaqt provides a demo for our solution, and you can request one here.